The Shun DM0758 Panini Knife is named for the Italian word for 'freshly sliced bread', which is exactly what this knife is designed for. As you may find, slicing through fresh and crusty bread can be a nightmare with a poor quality knife; it's not unusual to end up with a pile of shredded bread instead of smooth and clean slices. A good bread knife must be able to cut through the hard crust cleanly without squishing the soft inner bread and without any messy shredding. As such, the design of the serrated blade and the quality of the edge is paramount. Shun have quite the reputation when it comes to sharp, Japanese-style knives but how do they compare when it comes to Western bread slicing?
The six-and-a-half-inch blade of the DM0758 Panini knife is specifically designed to easily cut the hardest crusts whilst not compressing the ingredients in a sandwich and without shredding softer breads. This is thanks to the different serration in different areas of the blade. The serrated section close to the tip is quite aggressive and is designed to bite into the crust on the initial 'push' forwards. From there the cutting becomes smoother on the forward push towards the serrations on the back of the blade.
Then, the reverse happens as the rear serrations take over and bite in to the sides of the loaf during the 'pulling' motion. This duality in design means both strokes are easy and extremely effective. Like most of Shun's knives the blade is very thin in comparison to most Western knives, this means a lot less effort is required when cutting and that the blade stays extremely sharp with only an occasional light honing.
The ebony colored handle is crafted from high quality, resin-impregnated Pakkawood and is relatively simple in design. The handle is smaller than most Western knives as it's designed with smaller Japanese hands in mind but the length is adequate for most Western hands. Chefs with smaller hands will find it extremely comfortable to use. The shape of the handle is the traditional 'D' shape, which allows for easy grip whilst not limiting where you can choose to hold the handle. Most Shun knives can be ordered with reverse 'D' handles for left-handed chefs.
All Shun knives are claimed to be made using traditional Japanese steel-working methods and are hand forged by skilled craftsmen. The core of the blade is forged from high carbon steel, which can be sharpened to a very fine edge. This core is clad in multiple layers of Damascus-style steel, which protects the core and provides a non-stick coating. This process and the materials used result in a very sharp and good looking knife.
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(price as of Jul 5, 2016)
- Blade Length 6.5 inches (16.5 cm)
- Steel: VG10, 32 layers. Handle: D shaped, ebony PakkaWood.
Warranty and Customer Service
All Shun Cutlery is backed by limited lifetime warranties, which protects you from any manufacturing faults (providing you are the original owner of the knife). This includes things like cracks in the blade, stress fractures or breaks in the handle. Normal wear and tear is not covered as is any damage caused by using the knife incorrectly or through home sharpening errors. Thankfully, Shun provides a free sharpening service to US residents (you only have to pay postage).
Care and Maintenance
Shun knives are made from high quality materials and should be handled carefully. It's always a good idea to have an idea of the care requirements of major products before buying them so you know if it is too much work for you. The Shun DM0758 Panini knife is recommended for use on all breads, sandwiches, boneless meats, salads and cheeses. Boned meat and hard vegetables should be avoided to protect the serrated blade. Light honing can be done with a honing steel recommended for use on serrated blades but sharpening should only be done by professional services. Overall, this knife is fairly easy to care for if used correctly and sharpening is only required no more than once a year.
If you have any questions, concerns or general remarks either regarding the Shun Classic Panini knife review or the knfe itself (e.g. technical aspects), then please feel free to make them in the comments section below.